Beacon Lesson Plan Library

String of Fish

Frieda Bates
Santa Rosa District Schools


Pairs of students research a Florida fish to determine its length. They display this information on two index cards, which are cut to the shape of the head and the tail and attached to a string that they measure and cut to the correct length of the fish.


The student knows measurement concepts and can use oral and written language to communicate them.

The student uses a wide variety of models (for example, manipulatives, diagrams) and applies counting procedures to investigate measurements of length, area, volume, and perimeter.


-Stapler, tape or glue
-Colored pencils
-Index cards
-Resource materials (You may wish to order Fishing Lines from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It’s free! (
-Yarn or string
-Rulers and/or yardsticks


Gather materials.


1. Review use of rulers and yardsticks in measuring linear distance.

2. Divide the class into groups of two.

3. Explain that each pair of students will be researching a Florida fish and determining a feasible length for an individual of that species. (You may wish to limit their selections by assigning a fish or you may allow them to select the type they want to research).

4. Explain that a type of fish might be between -25 to 30 inches- or -8 to 10 inches in length.- If this were the case, what would be a reasonable length to select for an individual fish of this type? Or, if their fish is said to be -less than 20 inches in length,- What would be a better choice for length, 2 inches or 17 inches?

5. Give each group time to locate their fish in the given resource materials and determine a length that would be reasonable.

6. Give each group an index card.

7. Instruct each group to cut the index card in such a way that it is shaped like the fish’s head. Instruct the pair to write the name of their type of fish on the head. You may also instruct them to add facial features.

8. Distribute another index card to each group.

9. Instruct students to cut this card to resemble the fish’s tail. Have each group write the length they want their fish to be on the tail.

10. Hand out the yarn or string.

11. Instruct each group to cut string that will be attached so that it is connecting the head to the tail. Their -fish- should be exactly the length listed on the fish’s tail. Point out that they will have to take into account the length of the index card head and tail.

12. When the groups are finished with their fish, they exchange them with other groups to be remeasured.


Assess the student-created fish to determine that they are the exact length indicated on the tail.

Web Links

Fishing Lines from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It’s free!
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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